In a move that suggests Lincoln might be looking to buck the trend toward alphabet soup names for luxury models, Ford's upscale brand will bring back its Aviator name for 2019.
The badge will grace a new large crossover that Automotive News reports will be based on a platform shared with the next-generation Ford Explorer. And with the introduction of that more evocatively-named Aviator, the Ford Flex-based MKT crossover will get the axe.
Lincoln showrooms last hosted an Aviator model in 2005; that vehicle was also based on the Explorer of the time. Despite the current Explorer's most car-like construction, it's still a more truck-like vehicle than most other mid-size crossovers. Given the success the truck-based Navigator has enjoyed as a halo model (though it's not a huge seller), taking that kind of more rugged capability down-lineup strikes us as a good idea.
The 2019 model year is a long way off to predict what will live under the new Aviator's hood, but the 3.5L EcoBoost turbo V6 would be a good fit, as would the 2.7L EcoBoost as an entry-level choice. By that point, we wonder whether Ford and Lincoln will have graduated beyond six-speed automatics; in three years' time, an eight-speed, or even a version of Ford's 10-speed adapted for transverse engine applications, as the Explorer will likely continue to be. As for what a new Aviator will look like, the Navigator concept revealed earlier this year at the New York auto show likely holds clues.New mid-range crossover would replace slow-selling alphabet soup model 8/16/2016 2:59:24 PM 8/16/2016 2:59:24 PM